The Padres have offered Heath Bell and Aaron Harang arbitration, beating the 8:59 PM (Pacific Time) deadline on Wednesday. ThePadres off-season now essentially hinges on whether Bell accepts arbitration or declines it for the Free Agent market.
Aaron Harang figures to be less of a factor in how the Padres proceed during this off-season. While Harang would be a nice fit to continue in the Padres starting rotation, $5 million was too much to just pay him. The team hopes by offering him arbitration, they will either get him for somewhere around the $3.5-4 million range. If he declines arbitration, they will get a draft pick in the supplemental draft (Aaron Harang is likely considered a Type-B Free Agent).
Both players have until December 7th to reject or accept arbitration. Bell has indicated he will wait as long as possible to make his decision. He loves San Diego, his family loves San Diego, and he has made a home here. His decision will be a difficult one. The Padres made their difficult decision in July when they decided against trading Bell. Aaron Harang’s decision is just as unknown. He may command $5 million plus from another team in need of a veteran starter, but like many who come to San Diego, he would also rather stay. With the ever-present need for a successful starter to help teach younger players, Harang figures to accept more money elsewhere.
As goes arbitration, so go the Padres.